West Sussex Customs: Building The £20M Rolls-Royce Boat Tail

19-year-old Antwon is an art student who, upon speaking to Xzibit, has expressed an interest in keeping exotic fish during his spare time.

His car, a 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage, should’ve been scrapped in favour of a $99-a-month rental years ago. But this is episode five of MTV’s Pimp My Ride, and 60 minutes later, Antwon’s Mirage now resembles an aquarium complete with working fish tank in the boot.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail in Goodwood Hosting Suite rear aerial

There are many red flags occurring here, not least Antwon’s fish tank being framed by two 12-inch subwoofers that would surely trigger PETA the moment Dead Prez started playing. But glance past this over-exaggerated TV build and the end result is something we all buy into on Speedhunters: bespoke customisation to make a car more personal to you.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Hosting Suite and Parasol Lifestyle

If we consider Antwon’s Mirage at one end of the custom car spectrum, much further away at the other end we have this – the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. A one-of-one, £20,000,000 (approximately US$28,352,000) coachbuild designed to pay homage to the owner’s passion for luxury yachts and fine wine. There’s no boot-mounted aquarium, but there are two refrigerators.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail in Goodwood Hosting Suite with cocktail table

Uber-expensive, ultra-exclusive cars are nothing new to this industry, but if you’re wondering why this should be relevant to Speedhunters, you make a valid point. However, unlike traditional limited editions which combine a sprinkling of customisation with a hefty price tag, the Boat Tail has been entirely drawn-up and commissioned by its owner in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, making it now the most expensive (new) car in the world.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail rear with parasol

This is the result of what happens when your life takes a path not even the 1% can dream of. And while I envy the idea of never checking my bank balance ever again, I’m also massively fascinated by seeing how this other half lives – especially when it comes down to the cars they own and how they’re used. We all embrace this mentality on some level but, when money isn’t an issue, does a limit even exist?


‘There’s 44,000 exterior colours to choose from on the standard palette,’ explained a Rolls-Royce spokesperson.“But if that doesn’t meet the requirements, the Bespoke team can perfectly match any hue from any object. Notable examples include a lipstick, stiletto and pink rubber glove…”


“One lady even asked for the leather colour of her Rolls-Royce to be matched to her Red Setter,” the spokesperson added. “This was achieved with no harm coming to the dog.”


Bespoke. That’s the name given to Rolls-Royce’s department for all things bodacious, from crushing several thousand ethically-sourced diamonds into one car’s paintwork, right through to a shrunken drinks holder for another. Its owner – a renowned sumo wrestler – wanted to ensure his favourite JDM beverage didn’t rattle around despite it being smaller than ‘typical’ drink cans. Like a boss.


Understandably, this process doesn’t involve a standard online configurator or brochure. Located at Goodwood is the Rolls-Royce Atelier, a fancy word to otherwise describe a super-secret room where every trim, finish and bespoke request can be taken care of.


Not content with simply hanging the various options on the walls, the Rolls-Royce Atelier has its own custom lighting system which can mimic any hue or condition from around the world.


Yup, if you’re unsure how a metallic paint will look in the harsh California sun, it’s available at the push of a button. I can only assume the Scottish setting requires grey curtains and the aroma of batter being pumped into the room.


It’s both alarming and brilliant to think that a car costing upwards of £300,000 (stock) can have its value doubled or tripled in this one room. But then when I think back to putting £2,000 worth of wheels on an old £1,500 Civic, I’m handily reminded that everything is ‘relative’. And both cases make absolutely no sense to anyone bar the owner.


The Atelier is customisation ramped up to 11. Rolls-Royce is a brand famous for declaring that no request is ever too much (assuming your pockets are deep enough), but what happens if even this level of bespoke isn’t sufficient?

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Formed Making Of 135

You guessed it, there’s a further level beyond this which isn’t even accessible by just being rich; you’ve got to be stinking rich. And that’s Rolls-Royce Coachbuild.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Formed Making Of 113

Carrying on with the Speedhunters theme of over-simplifying ritzy aspects of luxury lifestyle, coachbuilding dates back to the 1920s when carrozziere (Italian for coachbuilder) culture was absolutely booming. A bit like overfenders in 2021.


Back then, a proper coachbuild involved buying your chosen chassis from one of the many manufacturers, then choosing a specific coachbuilder who could make you a body as wild as your imagination would allow.


Think of it like going to Nissan and buying an R35 GT-R chassis and drivetrain, before sending it over to Rocky Auto for a Hakosuka body to be crafted on top of it. But with much more gold, a small forest of veneer and some kind of porcelain cutlery thrown in for good measure.

Rolls-Royce TorpedoPhoto: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

What happened to this culture, then? Several savvy companies including Zagato, Bertone, Pininfarina and Karmann all morphed their businesses into styling houses, occasionally (and still to this day) building special bodies for carmakers in the process.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Formed Making Of 107
RECOLOUR Rolls-Royce Boat tail rear 3_4 tipped

But as car manufacturers moved into monocoque construction – required for both safety regulations and mass production – it became almost impossible to follow traditional ways. Outer panel modification? Fill your boots. But structural components and altering proportions? Forget it.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail rear hosting suite

Well, unless you happen to have around 20 million quid spare and get on very well with Rolls-Royce. Who – handily this week – announced they’re getting back into the world of proper, traditional coachbuilding. They’ll provide the chassis – you provide the vision (assuming it’s backed up with a sort code and account number).

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail in Goodwood Rear aerial

There’s no better advert for this than with the Boat Tail, as pictured. It’s the ultimate statement for the ultra-wealthy; 5.8-meters in length, hand-built and covered in swathes of wood. The back even has an aft deck; the term ‘Boat Tail’ needs to be taken quite literally here.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Hosting Suite with champagne refrigerator

In the rear you’ll also find the ‘hosting suite’ accessed by electronically raising the two veneer-clad compartments. There’s a double refrigerator (a proper one with gas, not a chilled box) meaning copious amounts of booze can be stored away.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Hosting Suite with parasol

Umbrellas? Not only are they stored in the doors, but there’s an additional parasol housed beneath the rear centreline. Then you’ve got two two rotating cocktail tables, Italian-made folding stools and more crystal than an evening with Rick Ross.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail in Goodwood Treadplate

It is completely out of control, and that’s skipping over the hundreds of intricate (read: expensive) details incorporating precious gems, a BOVET 1822 timepiece and much, much more.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Formed Making Of 112

But what I love about Rolls-Royce is, despite how or if this ever gets used by its owner, the entire thing has to be engineered just like a typical road car. There are five additional ECUs just to control the accessories housed in the rear.

DSC00124 copy

Every component was tested between 80°C (176°F) and -20°C (-4°F) to ensure none of the parts warped, leaked or deteriorated. It was even Vmax’d to guarantee wind noise is all but non-existent.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Rear 3_4 Lifestyle

Is it all an unnecessary and absurd display of wealth? Of course it is, but that doesn’t mean it can’t (and shouldn’t) be celebrated. The super-rich will always be rich, and while I don’t aspire to that kind of lifestyle there is something profoundly interesting about witnessing what’s possible when money really is no object.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail rear tipped view

I’d be a terrible millionaire. My plot of land would be entirely covered by hastily erected buildings to house several hundred cars, all of which cost no more than around £1,500 each. Think of it like a Tesco own-label version of the Sultan of Brunei.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Side Profile Lifestyle

But in an automotive world littered by legislation, cross-platform sharing and greenwashing, it’s refreshing to see that – even amidst a global pandemic – there’s still much more to come from modern motoring than just mobility.

Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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This is two cars north of 10M dollars in any currency rolls has done in the past 5 years. I wonder of the swept tail owner is who comissioned this as well. 20M in the midst of the pandemic and people believe the economy was ever so terrible

Samvel Rostomian

who can share old images on the desktop. 2008, 2009, 2010 - years


It's a modern Rolls.

20 million pounds isn't the price, it's the curb weight.


Not sure if it's quite as pretty as the concept art. But fair play.


I spent a good couple minutes trying to think of a way to express my disgust but honestly I think it's design or lackthereof speaks for itself.


20 million £ is actually 28.4 million USD... But who's counting at that point?


Artwork - too bad there is few places to enjoy it with mongrels overtaking the world you'd probably be car jacked and killed for the hood emblem.

Auto Art BY Jadey

haha yeah


The pic of the rolls of leather reminds me of shopping for vinyl at my local Clark Rubber store.


That's as vulgar as a diamond codpiece


Now I get it. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and £20M custom Rolls-Royce.




It's just another disgusting statement piece for some good-for-nothing chap who made his money by "strategically investing" his daddy's money and dodging taxes. I prefer SpeedHunters stories that focus on the average person's car culture.


One thing crossed my mind is what chassis that this masterpiece is built upon?


Antwon’s Mirage

Mark Riccioni

This would be a fantastic plot twist, and suddenly the vast sum of money makes more sense


Not too impressed. I've seen much nicer looking one-off customs at GNRS, and they sure don't garner $28M.


from which article photos of the red Rolls-Royce Dawn? give me a link please


on the link the photos are more staged, not live. I prefer those that are here that are not included in the official set. Wonderful photos Mark!


Very exquisite I'm sure that this is worth every penny for the craftsmanship and attention to detail


the B&W photos are just spectacular!


Huh? So now the speed hunted is how fast some forgettable thing parted a person and their money? Do yourself a favor and hit up a real Fine Art museum to see history made, cultures cultivated, and human zeitgeists changed forever. This is just another car with pretty materials but inspiring nothing, meaning nothing, and pushing zero envelopes. There's a person in Tibet putting more hours into arranging dyed sand in a pattern so that when they are done, the doors open and the winds take it away. Lol get back to work, Riccboi, find some speed!


They obviously don't know their boats for not calling it the Aft. Rolls Royce Ghastly could also work


28M GBP, still takes you from A 2 B and gets smashed by every tuned car with footwork around every twisty LOL

Zeus .Edwards

i really appreciate this build a lot more than the swept tail. we may not have that kind of cash to do this but we all spend lots of worthless money on our own rides so why not? it keeps the car culture alive and people in work as well as business to survive a little longer to accommodate man's ideas to become reality. Honestly, I don't think pics do this car justice, the pics are top-notch as usual but I think seeing this in person will change a lot of minds.

Sebastian Motsch

This is exquisit, indeed. I admire the craftsmenship and the intricacy of the details, but keep wondering if it will ever be used outside of a Councours d'Elegance? The artwork sure is a lot more elegant than the final body, but this is likely due to the underlying architecture and crash regulations.

One thing that bugs me a little is the concentration on the amount of money spent on this project. Decades ago Rolls-Royce described the power of the engine as adequate - a word that should have been used here to decribe the price, instead of an eight-figure number. Some things should not be publicized so we can take estimated guesses about the sum spent.

So... will Rolls-Royce ever coachbuild the gullwing concept I photoshoped back in 2009?

Best regards
Sebastian Motsch


Did anyone else catch that this car is for Jay-Z and Beyonce?


I love when tacky cars are posted on here. They're usually quirky & fun. Not this. This is just "look at how much money I have" tacky. Also, £20mil price tag, guess how much lower it was the moment the owner drove the car away from the factory/took possession of it.